blue are the hills that are far away

A northern proverb comparable to distance lends enchantment to the view. Green is sometimes found instead of blue. Cf. the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

1887 T. H. HALL CAINE Deemster I. v. ‘What’s it sayin’,’ they would mutter, ‘a green hill when far away from me; bare, bare, when it is near.’

1902 J. BUCHAN Watcher by Threshold IV. 236 ‘Blue are the hills that are far away’ is an owercome [common expression] in the countryside.

1914 Spectator 6 June 955 It is the habit of the Celt to create fanciful golden ages in the past—‘Blue are the faraway hills,’ runs the Gaelic proverb.

1949 J. L. MORRISSEY Necktie for Norman iii. 21 It was so much like the attitude of the habitual stay-at-home. They say that ‘distant hills are always the greenest.’

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